Those old Descent of Man charts were sometimes fun, showing a bacterium ending up as some poor slob hunched over a workstation. Some sort of moral was always pounded into us by these tales, usually not an uplifting one. But real history is always better and more interesting.
If the Neanderthal woman was living and having kids with a non-Neanderthal man, she wasn’t living and having kids with a Neanderthal man. Perhaps, if non-Neanderthal men were more numerous, it was only a matter of time and only the usual amount of violence, rather than a big massacre.
There just weren’t very many Neanderthals to begin with so they were subject to a number of factors that diminished their numbers even further, say researchers.
Sheldon: “[i]t is not likely that Neanderthals possessed language, a sense of self, or an artistic bent.”
“Now, a group of 44 researchers has written a strongly worded critique of the dating of these paintings … ” Stay tuned.
Most likely the underlying issue for the dissenters is that the anthropologists are Darwinians and in any Darwinian scheme, someone must be the subhuman. Otherwise, there is no beginning to human history. The Neanderthals are convenient for the purpose. If we found a Stone Age laptop among the Neanderthal artifacts, the same people might still be claiming it didn’t prove anything.
Glue was found on well-preserved tools from 50 kya.
Apparently, it’s the geneticists’ “worst nightmare.”
The thesis that modern humans had a competitive advantage in projectiles might be a bit hasty. One is reminded of the claim that modern humans could do art and Neanderthals couldn’t, and then we found Neanderthal art.
It’s getting to the point where a quality broadcasting group could make a palatable film series about the Neanderthals. Now that we are long past the Ooga! Ooga! thing.
This would be a great murder mystery film, so long as someone other than Hollywood made it.
It’s not just that the ornaments did not have a practical use. They probably expressed something. Eagle talons, for example, might imply something about the person who wore them, in the same way that a peace sign implies something about the wearer today. But it may have implied the opposite thing.
And customized their tools to the user. These are not the Neanderthals of the late twentieth century. Those were incredibly stupid brutes. Funny how much Neanderthals have learned in only a couple of decades…
That’s bad for “evolutionary theory.” Actual histories of the Neanderthals are like actual histories of the Navaho or the Welsh. What they “would have” done doesn’t matter; only what they apparently did. Enter historical interpretation from a variety of schools of thought.
At the Sapiens site, Goldfield offers some sound files that might represent Neanderthal vs, current vocalization.